California students who would like to learn court reporting might pursue related certificates of completion or associate's degrees. The programs are offered at 2- and 4-year colleges as well as adult education centers. Some schools may offer online study options. Toward the end of their programs, students could participate in transcription practicum experiences or internships that involve court observation. Typing skills may be required for admission. Program titles include:
- Machine Shorthand Specialist
- Court Reporting
- Hearing Reporting
- Realtime Writing
- Text-Entry Specialist
College of Marin
The College of Marin court reporter program is offered at the school's Indian Valley Campus in Novato. Students will begin working towards a Level 1 Vocational Certificate of Completion, which is awarded after attaining a writing speed of 150 words-per-minute on a steno machine. The Level 2 Certificate is earned once students reach 200 words-per-minutes and qualify to take the state CSR exam. An Associate of Science in Court Reporting can be awarded in lieu of either certificate. Academic subjects examine medical terminology, grammar, procedures, and rapid data entry.
The city of Cypress is not only home to Cypress College, but is just miles away from Long Beach. The school prides itself on diversity, as no single ethnic group makes up more than 28% of the total student population. The court reporting program requires a minimum of two and one-half years of coursework. Cypress College offers a Certificate in Court Reporting and an Associate of Science in Court Reporting. Both paths qualify students to take the state CSR exam. Specialty certificates are also available in captioning, CART, hearing reporter, proofreading, and realtime writing.
Downey Adult School
Downey Adult School, located in Downey, features seven instructors in the court reporter program with well over 100 years combined experience as CSRs and teachers. The court reporter program covers theory, computerized short hand speed and academics. The lab is free for all current students; however, students must purchase or rent a steno machine before beginning the program.
Humphreys College has campuses in both Stockton and Modesto, California. It has offered machine stenography courses since the 1920s. Through the Department of Court Reporting, students can earn an associate's degree by completing general education and core courses, like computer-aided transcription and machine stenography. The 181-credit Bachelor of Science in Court Reporting program is available for licensed CSRs and can be completed entirely online.
Charles A. Jones Career & Education Center
Located in the capital city of Sacramento, Charles A. Jones Career & Education Center offers a court reporting program through the School of Court Reporting. The program consists of 5,400 hours of instruction in stenography, transcription, keyboarding, and scoping. Applicants into the program must hold a high school diploma and knowledge of the English language, as well as have a minimum typing speed of 40 words-per-minute. In addition to the court reporter certificate, students can earn certificates in captioning, proofreading, and realtime reporting, among others.
Taft College is located in the city of Taft, which is about 30 miles west of Bakersfield. The Applied Technologies Division offers both a Certificate of Achievement and an Associate of Science in Court Reporting. Either path will prepare students for the state CSR exam. Students will start their core requirements with a course in theory, which exposes them to writing words using a steno machine. Four speed-building courses will follow, with the ultimate goal of reaching 200-240 words-per-minute.
West Valley College
The 30-plus year old Court Reporting and Captioning Department at West Valley College is located in Saratoga. Prospective court reporters have the option of completing an associate's or certificate program. Students take several courses in court reporting theory. By the end of the second semester, students must achieve an 80 words-per-minute minimum speed to move on to the next stage. A minimum of 83 units is needed to earn an associate's degree.
To become a Certified Shorthand Reporter (CSR), also known as a court reporter, students must pass an examination. The Court Reporters Board of California administers the exam and oversees all schools offering preparatory coursework. To qualify for the exam, students must be at least 18 years of age, have a high school diploma or GED and have a clean criminal record.
Though a degree is not required to become a CSR, students must qualify to take the exam by providing evidence of 12-months of full-time work experience, completing a program from a recognized court reporting school, earning a National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) certificate, or presenting a valid certificate issued by Georgia, Texas, or Nevada.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type & Setting||Court Reporting Degrees And Certificates Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|College Of Marin - Indian Valley Campus||Two-year, public; large suburb|| Certificate of Achievement in Court Reporting - Occupational, Legal Transcription Option,
Associate in Science in Court Reporting - Occupational, Legal Transcription Option,
Certificate of Achievement in Court Reporting - Occupational, Certified Shorthand Reporter Option,
Associate in Science in Court Reporting - Occupational, Certified Shorthand Reporter Option
| $1,488 for residents;
$9,258 for non-residents*
|Cypress College||Two-year, public; large suburb|| Certificate in Court Reporting, Captioning, CART, Scopist, Hearing Reporting, Proofreading, Realtime Writing, and Text-Entry Specialist ,
Associate in Science in Court Reporting
| $1,138 for residents;
$6,154 for non-residents*
|Downey Adult School||Two-year, public; large suburb||Certified Shorthand Reporter Program, Certificate in CART Reporter./Realtime Captioner, Realtime Reporter, Proofreader for Court Reporter, and Scopist for the Court Reporter||$3,594*|
|Humphreys College||Four-year, private not-for-profit; large city|| Associate in Arts or Science in Court Reporting,
Bachelor of Science in Court Reporting
|Charles A. Jones Career & Education Center||Two-year, public; large city||Certificate of Competency Court Reporter, Captioner, Proofreader, Realtime Reporter, and Scopist Reporting||$11,736 (includes books and materials)**|
|Taft College||Two-year, public; distant town|| Certificate of Achievement in Court Reporting,
Associate of Science in Court Reporting
| $1,134 for residents;
$6,880 for non-residents*
|West Valley Community College||Two-year, public; large suburb|| Certificate of Achievement in Court Reporting Note Reading and Scoping Technology/,
Associate of Science in Court Reporting
| $1,186 for residents;
$4,978 for non-residents*
Source: *NCES College Navigator, **School website